The Observers (a story)

The Observers

Once upon a time ago, after the people were spread about to populate a galaxy or two, we sat back to watch how things we had set in motion unfolded.

Some of the people were mild and settled into their new homes quite nicely. They hunted, fished, farmed and helped each other. They made kinships and friendships and had some fun. Which we were quite happy to see.

Some of the people explored their nearby planets and traded with them. They seemed more adventurous than some, which was fine. As long as they minded their manners and let everyone be at their own pace. They mostly did, so we just kept an eye on them.

But some of the people seemed hungry. Nothing they had was enough. They wanted what they saw that others had. If they helped others, they wanted something in return. Esp if they got more than they gave. They wanted the best. They sorted till they got it too. There were many times when we felt we had to compensate for what these greedy people did. In ways they wouldn’t notice but evened out the balance for those who were left with less.

We were afraid to leave things like this, so we introduced a predator. Just to the greedy though. On their lands, in their homes. They did try to take more from their neighbours, but the predator took that as well. And we compensated those left with less.

It felt a bit like playing chess, but we couldn’t leave it alone, with people like this.

Before we left the galaxy, we gave the humble and kind the gift of magic. Just some basic works to defend themselves and those they loved. To grow things better, to heal, and to surprise their friends and family with.

Everything was fine when we checked in on these galaxies. We had made good choices in how we dealt with the people. Each managed as who they were.

The Quest (a story)

The Quest

What is it that you would search for? What would you go to another galaxy for? The adventure itself? A sense of belonging? A symbol? Would you go because you’re afraid that aliens will come and want to see how close they are? Would you look for new signs of life?

Do you have to pick one?
Does it have to be on another planet? Or in your ancient lands?

Or can it be internal, like a vision quest?

….

Samantha had been asking herself this for some time. She had read so many fantasy and sci-fi stories from comics and books. And watched many of the hot movies and TV shows. So she thought she knew her own answers.

Sam even took any course she could find and get accepted into on science, computer and math (cuzz along with Carl Sagan she was pretty sure the first communication would be π ). Sam also made it into the air-force. And learned how to fly anything going up. When NASA came calling, she was going to be ready.

And she had thought she was ready too.

But Sam only knew what earth could teach her. What hard sciences could tell her. And that probably would have been fine…. She had separated fact from fiction. But somewhere in her soul, she had a romantic wish to meet an alien. But she was realistic enough to know that nowhere in our galaxy was there another inhabited planet. And if there were other such places, they probably weren’t advanced enough to get to earth. Not by science or technology anyways.

…..

But there was a thing that prosaic Sam hadn’t thought of:
Was there another way they could get here? Like maybe ….

MAGIC??

When the Institution You Believe in, That You SHOULD Believe in, is in the Wrong.

When the Institution You Believe in, That You SHOULD Believe in, is in the Wrong.

If you are BIPOC, women or LGBTQ+, you have had times and incidents at least when you have felt shut out at least. And some of their rules and rites don’t serve you.

But what if the person/child is well within the frame of belief and practices, but still gets harmed by the leaders? What steps should that institution take to correct things? And can the govts of countries take steps to be sure they do?

North America has known for some time that children have been harmed by church leaders. And this seems to be really prevalent in the Catholic church. But some people have sloughed it off to a degree, that the nations in North America aren’t known for being Catholic. So are people misreporting events to cast aspersions on the Catholic Church?

I doubt it.

Now though, the daughter state of the Catholic church is claiming a long history of sexual abuse of children by priests and clergy. France who once housed the Pope and Vatican at Avignon .

So is it time to put some rules in place for how the Catholic church deals with child abusers who are/were clergy? These children weren’t the unholy they were trying to convert. These were their own.

How much worse can it get before the church is sanctioned?

The Capitalist Horsemen of Modernity – What was Intended to Enlighten Us – (Science, Medicine, Industry, the War Machine) Political Priority, Technology, and Mainstream Media

The Capitalist Horsemen of Modernity – What was Intended to Enlighten Us – (Science, Medicine, Industry, the War Machine) Political Priority, Technology, and Mainstream Media

Theodor W. Adorno considered mythology to be part of modern society as much as it ever has been. The dichotomy of dark and light, good and evil, reason and feeling,… And the eternal quest for power, prestige and wealth.

We get wrapped up in fear rather than wisdom. We cling to what we know and our groups instead of discovering how the world is evolving and adapting to it.

And the capitalist world seeks to confine and oppress us instead of support us as we grow. Sorting out those who ‘fit’ rather than considering the colour diversity brings to the economy and society. In tourism and trade.

And even though what occurs now serves the billionaires, you have to wonder about their morality, when you think of them. Wondering how they process the babies who die in their parents’ arms of diseases that can be prevented or easily treated, and malnutrition. Because the billionaire was more concerned about his needs than how they affect the people in the world around them.

And in many ways, you can see the clash of the Titans in the exchanges between the different factions and the world leaders as they vie for power. Not counting the bodies that their conflict and exchanges pile up.

excerpts from Stanford Univ bio on Adorno

How can the progress of modern science and medicine and industry promise to liberate people from ignorance, disease, and brutal, mind-numbing work, yet help create a world where people willingly swallow fascist ideology, knowingly practice deliberate genocide, and energetically develop lethal weapons of mass destruction? Reason, they answer, has become irrational.

…..

the source of today’s disaster is a pattern of blind domination, domination in a triple sense: the domination of nature by human beings, the domination of nature within human beings, and, in both of these forms of domination, the domination of some human beings by others. What motivates such triple domination is an irrational fear of the unknown: “Humans believe themselves free of fear when there is no longer anything unknown. This has determined the path of demythologization … . Enlightenment is mythical fear radicalized”

……

The all-consuming engine driving this process is an ever-expanding capitalist economy, fed by scientific research and the latest technologies.

……

exchange society has three levels: politico-economic, social-psychological, and cultural. (primary – colonialism, imperialism) [add patriarchy and it’s effects on/exclusion of women, disabled, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC]

……

(Adorno’s) main point is that culture-industrial hypercommercialization evidences a fateful shift in the structure of all commodities and therefore in the structure of capitalism itself.

……

key concepts of moral philosophy (“freedom”), philosophy of history (“world spirit” and “natural history”), and metaphysics.

……

human thought, in achieving identity and unity, has imposed these upon objects, suppressing or ignoring their differences and diversity. Such imposition is driven by a societal formation whose exchange principle demands the equivalence (exchange value) of what is inherently nonequivalent (use value).
Adorno and Horkheimer – Dialectic of Enlightenment
Adorno – Negative Dialectics
source – Stanford Univ

2021 Nobel Prize for Economics Blows Minimum Wage Debate out of the WATER!!

2021 Nobel Prize for Economics Blows Minimum Wage Debate out of the WATER!!

Recently there have been a lot of debates about raising the minimum wage in the USA and Canada. Conservative/Republican politicians say that the raise will affect hiring and business profits. And so the raise did not come thru. (USA) Or only in some places, despite it being a federal law now. (Canada)

USA

Fed govt Canada

….. con premiers in power

  • Saskatchewan is $11.45 per hour and this rate is indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It is expected to increase to $11.81 Oct 2021
  • Manitoba is one of the lowest in Canada at $11.95 per hour.
  • Quebec is $13.50 per hour. It increased by $0.40 on May 1, 2021.
  • Alberta’s was raised when the NDP were in power.
    source

…… Nobel Prize

Guelph, Ont.-born David Card, with the University of California at Berkeley,
won the Nobel prize for economics Monday for pioneering research that showed an increase in minimum wage does not lead to less hiring and immigrants do not lower pay for native-born workers, challenging commonly held ideas. source

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2021
David Card “for his empirical contributions to labour economics”

Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbens “for their methodological contributions to the analysis of causal relationships” nobel prize

Many of the big questions in the social sciences deal with cause and effect. How does immigration affect pay and employment levels? How does a longer education affect someone’s future income? These questions are difficult to answer because we have nothing to use as a comparison. We do not know what would have happened if there had been less immigration or if that person had not continued studying.

Using natural experiments, David Card has analysed the labour market effects of minimum wages, immigration and education. His studies from the early 1990s challenged conventional wisdom, leading to new analyses and additional insights. The results showed, among other things, that increasing the minimum wage does not necessarily lead to fewer jobs. We now know that the incomes of people who were born in a country can benefit from new immigration, while people who immigrated at an earlier time risk being negatively affected. We have also realised that resources in schools are far more important for students’ future labour market success than was previously thought. nobel prize

…..

This work will also take some legs out from under the racist claim that immigrants cost citizens $$ off their pay packets which (because of these economists’ work) is also disputable now.

yay dudes!! Good job!

Maybe World Leaders are Finally Getting that Climate Change is an Actual Threat? Resolutions from the United Nations This Week!

Maybe World Leaders are Finally Getting that Climate Change is an Actual Threat? Resolutions from the United Nations This Week!

source

In resolution 48/13, the Council called on States around the world to work together, and with other partners, to implement this newly recognised right.

The text, proposed by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, was passed with 43 votes in favour and 4 abstentions – from Russia, India, China and Japan.

At the same time, through a second resolution (48/14), the Council also increased its focus on the human rights impacts of climate change by establishing a Special Rapporteur dedicated specifically to that issue.

At the beginning of the current session of the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner described the triple planetary threats of climate change, pollution and nature loss as the single greatest human rights challenge of our era.

The new resolution acknowledges the damage inflicted by climate change and environmental destruction on millions of people across the world. It also underlines that the most vulnerable segments of the population are more acutely impacted.

But!!

Can their recognition achieve anything? Might it be too late?
The IPCC says:

  1. We’re on course to reach 1.5 degrees C of warming within the next two decades.

What we have to look forward to:

more storms, earthquakes, fires, floods. drought, food insecurity, water shortages, mass species extinctions and mass migration of people. In our life time.

Q – Moral development and codes – But which do I put highest? Kant vs Utilitarianism and Libertarianism

Q – Moral development and codes – But which do I put highest? Kant vs Utilitarianism and Libertarianism

Many people have several moral codes or law sets they try to live by:

  • their faith institution
  • their country’s
  • their neighbourhood
  • their family
  • their work/ professional ethics….

But some come into conflict,
and others are things we tolerate to belong. Not because we believe them or they serve us well (life goals, interests).
And some even exclude us.
ie. if you are LGBTQ+, kinky, poly

Some have excluded us before, but now seem to be more open. Do we forget, forgive the history in the hope they get it now? Or do we keep a hand back when we greet them because they might revert?

Maybe the best form of morality is internalized. We do things, live a certain way because that is who we are. But are we willing to risk going to jail? Or be diagnosed as mentally ill for having odd thoughts, behaviours and risk being medicated and/or being hospitalized?

Q – Has the Canadian Election Changed Anything?

Q – Has the Canadian Election Changed Anything?

I know it’s early days, since the election was just a few weeks ago (September 20, 2021), but srsly the tone hasn’t changed even a bit. The GREENs are still fighting each other, and Paul has retired from being the leader. The NDP still hate Trudeau and are working with the CONs to bring him down, and today Singh all but announced he won’t take part in the process of anything the LIBs want to do. The CONs haven’t changed a thing cuzz they feel like they won the election. Maybe, maybe not? They did get a lot of votes, just not where it counted. (tehehe!)

And the US owned media, who support CON/REP govts still are trying to bring Trudeau down. Kicking dirt at years old stuff that actually Harper (CON) was responsible for. Like trade deals with China, kicking the pharm companies out that could have made a Cdn vaccine or at least been a Cdn manufacturer of someone else’s recipe, law suits against FN groups, and allowing the Catholic Church off the hook financially for the residential schools.

Even though Trudeau was exonerated by the ethics commissioner about WE, the mssg still is that he is a liar and incompetent, hasn’t kept a promise and has done nothing for the country, let alone FNs. Even though several chiefs have been advocating for Trudeau and his team. Have said that he has done more for FNs than any other PM before. Has cleared more water advisories, is working with the bands toward self govt and their own child safety, police, health and govt programs and has also been meeting more goals than any other PM on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

….

So that’s the context, right? And into that Trudeau went to Tofino on Sept 30, (after going to an event on the 29th) to spend time with his family (after a hard election where he was harassed by anti-vaxxers at every stop). And it was used to paint a pic of him being lazy, incompetent, uncaring…. when he was just being a man. (Ohmergawd!!)

…..

And anyone who spoke up for Trudeau was racist, &/or a libtard. (reminder – I voted GREEN!)

…..

But twitter being twitter….. had had enough and one of the trending tags for the past days is that #Cdnmediahasfailed us. Well yeah, but what do you expect when…. they aren’t Canadian?
Time to change that, right?

‘Shame Has Two Faces’ – The Psychological POV

‘Shame Has Two Faces’ – The Psychological POV

What is your understanding of ‘shame’? How do you define the word, the concept? Do you think it’s the same thing as guilt or humiliation? What if I said it’s not.

Do you think it’s something you should use as ‘play’? BDSM does use a lot of things as play, some may be less advised than others.

But in society, where people aren’t always free to consent, or make their own choices, what do you think shame would do?

Well it’s being studied…. and apparently it’s not that easy to see how this will affect people. Yet it seems to be rising as an alt means of sentencing.

In an effort to deter crime and reduce recidivism, (and frankly to reduce jail/prison costs) some judges are looking at ‘creative’ sentencing. One method is using the concept of public shaming, instead of fines or incarceration. And it may seem like a good idea, but the studies are showing it takes a very specific type of person/criminal for this to have the right effect on. Probably not something a judge or cop should do at all, let alone on impulse. But for some criminals, nothing is working, so is pubic shame worth trying?

….

  • Shunning/form of excommunication – exclusion from group
  • public shaming – ad in newspaper, standing with a cheeseboard, crime written on it, old school- standing in a public square/stockades

…….. resources

Feeling shame depends upon perceiving that others disapprove of you or your behavior. It is different from guilt, which is based on your own view of an action as being harmful to another. If fueled by anxiety, victimless habits such as overeating, cutting, or bulimia could increase as the shamed individual self-isolates to avoid public censure or attempts at intervention. Driving someone “underground” can be counterproductive. Shaming can reflect prejudice against a group or a confusion of attitudes toward behaviors, conditions, and identity. When shame is internalized and becomes pervasive and enduring, a person can be at risk for developing unhealthy conditions such as depression or social anxiety disorder, the fear of being scrutinized and the avoidance of social events that evoke such fear link

…….

When people are guilty—as proclaimed by a judge, for example—they experience remorse and regret, and they want to make reparations. But people who are shamed feel generally diminished, worthless—and defensive. Humiliated people want to slink into hiding, deny responsibility and, most important, blame others for what they did. shame led to recidivism only when the humiliated inmates blamed others. When they did not—when they were humiliated yet accepted blame—inmates were no more likely to return to crime. In other words, the experience of shame is in some ways a liability, but in other ways it is adaptive, perhaps even a strength. Apparently it’s the powerful desire to hide away that determines shame’s effects. link

John Locke – Belonging and Consent

John Locke – Belonging and Consent

We often discuss these principles when they apply to kink. But how often are they considered when you think about the groups that you belong to in society?

If you are born into a group, you are a member till you’re asked to leave or you die. Your rights are life, liberty and property. At least your share of the group’s resources. In exchange you get the protection of the group. You follow what the majority want. The group can ask you to help protect it, but can no longer arbitrarily force you to do so, unless they allow conscription. You can volunteer, and in some cases more than others, that can seem quite coercive. The poor want a chance to travel, to be fed and housed, to learn a trade they couldn’t otherwise. And all they have to do is risk their lives. The imprisoned can apply for early release thru service in the military. And some people just want to join. They think they should serve their country, their people, their faith. Or it’s a family tradition. But it is expected. People are disappointed if you don’t. And for some that weighs heavily. Which can also be quite coercive.

If you weren’t born in the group, you have to basically apply or show your worth. Offer some skill the group needs, or share your resources when theirs are depleted. If accepted, you become a member of the group. With pretty well the same rights as anyone else. Though it may take longer for them to trust you. If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you know they don’t always trust outsiders. Xenophobia is a very real thing.

You can leave anytime you wish, in theory. But it’s pretty hard to take anything with you and you might have to sneak away in the dead of night to be successful. The group doesn’t like to lose it’s members. Or it’s resources. At . all.

It’s more likely they would let you return, if you had been born among them than if you were an outsider, left and wanted to return.

If the group excommunicates you because you have broken the rules of membership, there would be conditions to your return. And trust would have to be re-earned. You may never get all your freedom and privileges back.

Property is your share of the group’s resources. And given to you to use by grace of the group. For as long as you are a member. Your safety is only assured as long as you are a member of the group. And your freedom is only assured when you are following the rules of the group.

Have you ever tried to leave a group you were born into or joined and later regretted and wanted to leave? A religious or societal group? I have and it took so much more than it should have for me to get my kid and I out safely. It isn’t like you can say ‘I want to go’ and they say ‘see ya!’ and throw you a party. So how consensual would it still be if you remained, because they refused to let you go? It just wouldn’t be, would it?

You are a member with a share of their resources at the group’s pleasure. If they allow you to have and keep private property, it’s taxed. And it’s usually the members who have higher skill levels who get to keep private property. Which might explain why some constitutions offer happiness instead of private property.

You can see these factors at the bottom of any group charter, constitution, govt, whatever you call it. Democracy, communism, socialism, feudalism. Cult, gang. The only difference is whether the words get sugar coating or not.

And back to kink.
Nothing in kink should be like that, since it’s all supposed to be adults agreeing to do things together. But sometimes it seems like it is when you hear the groups that do it wrong. And somebody can end up dead or in jail.

And nowhere in this post have I discussed things like reputation and gossip. Yet they are important factors in any group. So it’s no surprise when they enter the kink world as well. At least it shouldn’t be. And the coercion of these forces is felt if the group you are in loses faith in you, at whatever level.

How you do in any group depends on how much the group thinks you can offer them and how much they think they can trust you to follow the rules. They will treat you well as long as you are on their good side. You’ll feel the winds change around you if that ever changes. Never doubt that.